HC Deb 15 July 1959 vol 609 cc397-8
31. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Air the total expenditure on the air base at Habbaniya from the time of its establishment to that of its abandonment.

Mr. Ward

About £3,500,000.

Mr. Hughes

Can the Minister tell us what we had for this expenditure?

Mr. Ward

Certainly. This base at Habbaniya played a vital part in pre-war days in maintaining internal security by the use of air power. During the war the existence of this base and the gallant action against Rashid AH buttressed the Allied position in the Middle East.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there was some concern when this base was finally evacuated? In the circumstances, can he tell the House whether any claim has been made on the Iraqi Government for compensation? Is the Royal Air Force acquiring any assets for the base? Are we negotiating the terms of the transaction?

Mr. Ward

Quite a large quantity of movable equipment which was there has been sold or brought out.

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